Preparing mentally and physically for surgery is an important step toward a successful result. Understanding the process and your role in it will help you recover more quickly and have fewer problems. Once you and your Doctor decide that surgery will help you, it will be beneficial to learn what to expect from the surgery, about recovery, therapy, and treatment plans, and to modify everyday tasks during the recovery period to achieve the best results afterward.
Before surgery, your doctor will perform a complete physical examination to make sure you don’t have any conditions that could interfere with the surgery or its outcome. When required, routine tests, such as blood tests and Xrays, may be ordered. This thorough examination and additional tests are also required by anesthesia providers and healthcare facilities to better individualize your care before, during, and after surgery.
Remember to discuss any medications and supplements you are taking with your surgeon and your primary care provider to determine which ones you should stop taking before surgery. If you are taking aspirin or other antiinflammatory medications, orwarfarin, or any drugs that increase the risk of bleeding, you will need to stop taking them one week before surgery to minimize abnormal bleeding. Some medications and supplements, including certain diabetic medications, will need to be held the morning of surgery.
If you smoke, you should stop or cut down to reduce your surgery risks and improve your recovery. In addition to respiratory effects, smoking has been shown to slow blood flow, especially into bone; sufficient blood flow is essential for speedy recovery.
Eat a wellbalanced diet, supplemented by a daily multivitamin with iron. You will be instructed not to eat or drink for eight or more hours prior to surgery.
Report any infections to your surgeon, including skin infections close to the proposed surgical site.
If your ability to perform everyday tasks, like cooking, shopping and laundry, will be inhibited, arrange for someone to help out.
Put items that you use often within reach for easy access for after your surgery.
If you are having Same Day Surgery, remember the following:
– Have someone available to take you home; you will not be able to drive for atleast 24 hours.
– The combination of anesthesia, food, and car motion can quite often causenausea or vomiting. After arriving home, wait until you are hungry beforetrying to eat. Begin with a light meal and try to avoid greasy food for the first extremity elevated and use ice as directed. This will help decrease swelling and pain.
– If you had surgery on an extremity (leg, knee, hand or elbow), keep that extremity elevated and use ice as directed. This will help decrease swelling and pain.
Take your pain medicine as directed. Begin the pain medicine as you start getting uncomfortable, but before you are in severe pain. If you wait to take your pain medication until the pain is severe, you will have more difficulty controlling the pain.